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Protesters square off with First Church of Cannabis

Bennett Haeberle Published: July 1, 2015, 6:13 pm Updated: July 1, 2015, 6:21 pm

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Protesters holding signs that read "marijuana is illegal" and "is this a church or a bar?" squared off against supporters of the First Church of Cannabis who claim Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides them the protection to use marijuana.

Fearing arrests, congregants and the church's founder, Bill Levin, refrained from using marijuana.

But that decision failed to snuff out the heated the debates that often filled the streets in front of the church.

Neighbors blocked off their yards and driveways with caution tape to keep congregants of the newly-formed church from parking.

"We don't want it," said Patricia Underwood, one of several neighbors who strung caution tape around her yard.

"I'm for it," said her neighbor, Randy, who used his yard as a parking lot, charging $5 per car.

Theological debates and fights over Indiana's drug laws could be heard up and down parts of road in front of the church.

Laurie Cobian, who attends the Church of Acts, about a half mile away from the First Church of Cannabis, drew onlookers and cameras as she debated a man who described himself as an attorney from Dayton, Ohio.

"This is not faith, this is fraud," Cobian said.

"This is a religious ideology that is appropriate for (Levin) and his life," the man replied.

A few feet away, Church of Acts Pastor Bill Jenkins was engaged in a debate with another man the merits of Indiana's drug laws.

"I want to know is this a church or a bar?" Jenkins asked, reinforcing a mantra that was written on several placards held by members of his church.

"They need to go home," said Chris Dail, a First Church of Cannabis supporter. "I use (marijuana) every day...I support this."

Despite the arguments, the first service at the First Church of Cannabis remained peaceful.

Self-proclaimed "Grand Pooba" Bill Levin recently said he plans a civil fight over challenges to his church.

Levin backed off his statements last week that he planned to use marijuana during his first sermon.

IMPD said no arrests were made Wednesday.

A statement was released by IMPD Chief Rick Hite:

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is committed to the enforcement of laws to protect life and property, while also respecting individual rights, human dignity, and community values. After incorporation, the leaders of the First Church of Cannabis made public statements indicating their intention to use marijuana during their church service. Church leaders also indicated through the filing of permits and public statements their anticipation of a large crowd and activities outside of the church. IMPD's presence at today's event was to ensure that the laws set forth by the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis were adhered to, and to carry out the department's duty to ensure the safety of all individuals and community members. Overall, today's event was very civil and peaceful and culminated with zero arrests or any other law enforcement action by IMPD."

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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:10 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:16 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:4 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:3 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:3 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:0 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:0 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs drug ngo  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme4 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 50%
[news] [concept]

"murder" "Crime" "inappropriate" "Fearing"4Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 55%
[news] [concept]

"Freedom" "community"3Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
 use is abuse

use is abuse
[news] [concept]

"use marijuana"3Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme4 : drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gatewaygateway, use is abuse

propaganda theme4
[news] [concept]

use is abuse Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

cannabis various illegal drugs  
 drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 drug ngo
[news] [concept]
prohibitionist ngo  
 drug law
[news] [concept]
"drug laws"2History of United States drug pr...
 prohibitionist ngo
[news] [concept]
"Mothers Against Drunk Driving"1The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Vested Interests of Prohibition: The Police
Police Are the Prohibitionist Lobby
this is what a police state looks like
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
A Center for Statistics Abuse?
Califano's CASA - Pharmaceutical Corporation Lobby
Guess Who's Profiting From Pot Prohibition? (2014)
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

[news] [concept]
 depressant intoxicant
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
"Drunk"1Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana" "Cannabis"16Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)
 various drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
 various illegal drugs
[news] [concept]
"drug laws" "drug charges" "drug chargesLocal"
DEA's Drugs of Abuse booklet
 religious use 80%
[news] [concept]
"Religious Freedom" "RFRA" "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" "Religious"
Religion and drugs
Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
[news] [concept]
"inmate"1Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States and... drugs.htm
US Official Prison Policy: Encourage Men's Rape (2014)
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
Push Back Against Drug War Profiteering with Jury Nullification

re:0.17 st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:1.05 c:0 db:0.182 a:0.39 m:0.17 t:3.07 (f)

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    article tags


    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    religious_use concept - spiritual or religious use of drugs
    various_illegal_drugs concept - general terms for illegal drugs
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    alcohol concept - ethyl alcohol for intoxication
    depressant_intoxicant concept
    intoxicant concept
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    prohibitionist_ngo concept - prohibition non-governmental organization which engages in deceitful practices
    drug_law concept
    drug_ngo concept
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme4 concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gateway
    use_is_abuse concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition